Updated: Aug 4
Chair Avard and Committee Members,
My name is Finn Graff from Barrington New Hampshire, and I go to Dover High School. I have come here to urge you to vote Ought To Pass for Senate Bill 263, on behalf of Seacoast Students for Sustainability. This bill would establish the New Hampshire Youth Environmental Education and Conservation Council, and is incredibly relevant to our organization because of our belief in the value of young people’s perspectives.
Unfortunately the voices of young people are often neglected or outright dismissed over concerns of naivete and impulsivity. However, it is this urgency that the fight for a stable climate needs, especially within governance. The point of no return is growing more imminent, atmospheric Carbon measurements from NASA describe a 35.19 ppm increase since January of 2006. Immediate action would better serve to prevent this, as opposed to the decision to wait it out, entrenched in the belief that someone else will start making
meaningful strides towards stability first.
America’s youth, especially students, have played important roles in revolutions of thought throughout our history. Henry David Thoreau was a 19 year old when he embraced Transcendentalism, which proceeded to take hold of American culture and produced countless works of literature and fueled the beginnings of movements that continue today; Civil Rights, Gender Equality, and Environmentalism. It was the Little Rock Nine who had the bravery to pioneer integrated public education, upholding the Supreme Court's ruling with the assistance of the National Guard. It is time that the value of young people was recognized
in legislation, a recognition this bill entails.
SB263 is so important because it integrates the voices of young people into legislation in the form of the New Hampshire Youth Environmental Education and Conservation Council. This is invaluable in the process of reaching a stable global climate before it is too late, a deadline that the UN predicts will reach us in 11 years. We are not deer frozen in headlights, we are not fixed in our predicament. An adaptive group of passionate young people, such as this, is a crucial part of the mobilization it takes to solve this problem.
Now more than ever, the human race is forced to reckon with the wide reaching consequences of each step we take towards the future. The younger generations, those who will inherit the world built in places like this, should be a part of determining where best to place our next step, instead of watching the future taken out of our hands.